Waine’s World – 15/1/13
Rugby returned with a bang to Stewart’s Melville on Saturday, with the school having a full run of fixtures and the F.P. 1st XV and 2nd XV playing Heriot’s Rugby (at Inverleith) and Glasgow Hawks (at Old Anniesland) respectively.
My day started by looking after Graeme Brown’s D1 XV, who were playing Hutchesons’ Grammar School on Pitch 2. The Glaswegians arrived defending a strong playing record and competed fiercely in almost every aspect of the game – but they were unable to cope with slick handling, running and support play which produced 6 tries, over half of which originated deep in the home “22” (final result 24-3).
This is the third time I have seen Graeme’s team this season and they obviously enjoy themselves, playing an exciting brand of rugby based on sound basic skills. There is still a long, long way to go and many lessons to be learnt, but, if they maintain their enthusiasm and positive attitude, the future for Stewart’s Melville rugby looks bright!
I then watched the 1st XV beat Hutchesons’ by 53 -5. In many ways it was a scrappy match, punctuated by mistakes due to the conditions and rustiness after a long lay-off over the Christmas period. However, in between times, the boys produced some outstanding rugby based on the patience necessary to build phase rugby and continuity. At one point, coach Lockie’s blood pressure was reaching boiling point, but, by the end, even he was smiling!
Coach Moran, hiding behind his hideous green glasses, almost purred as the scrum asserted its dominance and the driven line out produced three tries. A “double banjo rocket” (or something like that) backs move had them both grinning like Cheshire cats! I know that the whole squad has the third match up against Watson’s this coming Saturday (Myreside with a 10.30 kick-off) at the back of their minds!
27 school teams turned out on Saturday and about half played higher opposition from other schools. This can be tough on our players, but it does mean that they can pit their skills against strong rivals and that SMC maintains its important traditional fixtures.
Next week (19th January) the school has a full run of fixtures against Watson’s.
It was good to welcome back Heriot’s Rugby and their supporters to Inverleith in the afternoon, despite spotting a well known Stew-Mellie in their coaching team and an ex red, black and gold player on the wing! We had a dream start against our Premier 1 opponents, and, indeed, for the first half, it was not apparent which team played in the second echelon of Scottish club rugby. We scored 3 tries, and, with the clock at zero for half time, led by 15-0.
Unfortunately, with the last play of the 40 minutes, the visitors were allowed to score an unconverted try, and, arguably, this was the turning point of the match. Heriot’s started the second half with renewed vigour, and, while we held near parity for a further 15 minutes, their power, physique and appreciation of the need for greater intensity started to tell.
The referee, who had the occasional decision questioned by some of the Goldenacre faithful in the first half, penalised the tiring home team with increasing frequency in the second, and, for long spells at a time, we had no worthwhile possession. Defence under constant pressure is only possible for so long, and Heriot’s eventually found their fluidity to score 27 points against a solitary penalty to make the final score 18-32.
We can have no grouse about losing, but the boys should be proud of their efforts. They were not outclassed and, hopefully, they have learnt that, with greater experience and confidence, eventual promotion to the top division is not an impossible target.
They have another tough ask on Saturday when they again face Premier 1 opponents in the shape of Boroughmuir at Meggetland. Hopefully they will build on the “Nails Experience” and get themselves in fine fettle for the important league match against Hamilton on the 26th January at Inverleith.
(Gav gives his usual excellent match report for the Heriot’s game on the web site).
The 2nd XV had a tough task in Glasgow and were under strength due to illness, injury and unavailability. Fortunately, the Glasgow University based SMC contingent were able to help out in the guise of Andy Warnock, Jamie Cook and Doc and a somewhat scratch team took the field. The situation was not helped when Struan Allan, making a welcome return to action, proved his fitness by pulling a hamstring – only to be followed two minutes later by Robbie Lawrence suffering the same injury! Kahu (no other name at the moment), the school’s new GAP student from New Zealand, also made his red, black and gold debut and will, hopefully, be joined by Olly (the new GAP student from Australia) next week.
All credit to the coaches for organising a team under difficult circumstances and to the boys who played and gave it their best.
Hopefully, now that the festive season is well and truly over, attendance at training by the 2nd and 3rd XV will improve and allow the coaches to organise teams effectively for the Saturday. Strong junior teams are vital to competition in the 1st XV and the future of the FP Club. If your attendance on a Tuesday and Thursday has been ambushed by over- celebration and Christmas pudding, please make it your New Year’s resolution to get yourself back in shape and represent the club on a Saturday.
If you have been thinking of playing but not yet quite got around to it, now is the time to start. As you know, you will be made very welcome by coaches Burge and Duncan.
Next week (19th January) F.P. fixtures are as follows:
1st XV vs Boroughmuir – Meggetland, 3 pm
2nd XV vs Edinburgh Accies – Inverleith, 2 pm
3rd XV vs Portobello 2nd XV – Inverleith, 2 pm
It would appear that the university leagues do not resume until 30th January.
In mentioning age group rugby, the club has already congratulated Phil Cringle on his selection for the Scotland under 20 squad. However, you may not have noticed that Alex Hagart (another SMC man) – unless I am sadly mistaken – was also in the mix, playing a part in the warm-up game against Ayr and scoring a try.
Disappointingly, he does not seem to have made the final selection. If I am imagining all this – my apologies, Alex!
1st XV 18 Heriot’s Rugby 32
Glasgow Hawks 41 2nd XV 00
Ross High 2nd XV CANC 3rd XV CANC
(Ross High have withdrawn from the league)
1st XV 53 Hutchesons’ 05
A2 XV 17 Trinity 1st XV 22
A3 XV 14 Hutchesons’ 2nd XV 31
A4 XV 24 Watson’s A3 XV 43
U16A XV 55 Hutchesons’ 00
Hutchesons’ 20 B1 XV 20
Trinity B1 XV 61 B2 XV 00
Hutchesons’ B2 XV 40 B3 XV 05
Hutchesons’ 00 C1 XV 30
Trinity C1 XV 00 C2 XV 19
Hutchesons’ C2 XV 16 C3 XV 16
D1 XV 24 Hutchesons’ 03
Belmont D1 XV 07 D2 XV 18
D3 XV 11 Hutchesons’ D2 XV 10
D4 XV 17 Trinity D1 XV 22
Hutchesons’ 01 JA1 09
Belmont JA1 00 JA2 12
Hutchesons’ JA2 01 JA3 08
JB1 12 Hutchesons’ 00
JB3 08 Hutchesons’ JB2 01
JB4 05 Heriot’s 01
Merchiston 04 JC1 05
Cargilfield 03 JC1 05
Merchiston 04 JC3 04
Cargilfield 05 JC3 08
Hopefully see some of you on Saturday, either at Inverleith or Meggetland (or Myreside).